Small Free Art Box – Hernando Sun

One day while visiting a park with her family, artist Belinda Pratt came across a small free library that offered free books to anyone who needed them and, if they wanted, people could leave their own books in exchange for the book they had taken. .. “I searched the box for art books,” said the Brooksville resident. “And that gave me an idea; why not have these boxes for art supplies? »

Pratt approached the Hernando County Board of Fine Arts about the idea, which greeted the concept with warm approval. Council office administrator Mike Nolen helped her find abandoned plastic newspaper boxes to decorate and turn into free little art boxes. The first was emblazoned with broad strokes of red paint with black stripes. Written in gold are the words “Stop in the name of art!” On the front of the box reads: “Little Free Art Box. Take it, leave it. Supplies, art books and even art!

“I loved the idea of ​​reusable art,” said Pratt, owner of a home art studio. “I spray painted the sides. Then I let the arts council do its job, reaching out to people to see who would like to organize a box. Its first Little Free Art Box is housed inside of the West Hernando Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Spring Hill, and currently has many donations of paints, art books, crayons, markers, supply baskets, crayons, craft supplies, etc.
“Some people even leave small works of art in the box! We source everything from markers to excellent quality oil paints. We get a good mix,” Pratt said.

The Hernando Council of Fine Arts has announced their strong endorsement of the Free Art Box concept. “We love this Little Free Art Box, Belinda Pratt’s new take on these little free libraries for book sharing,” said Beth Putnam, president of the Hernando County Fine Arts Council. “Belinda is amazing and this idea is badly needed.”

Pratt’s second decorated box is displayed at the Silver Dolphin Restaurant, 4043 Shoal Line Blvd., in Hernando Beach. She has more boxes in the works and they should be placed at Ridge Manor Community Center, Rusted Jade Art Collective and Greenhouse on Main in Brooksville.

One of Pratt’s completed boxes resembles a brightly decorated house, adorned in rainbow colors. “It used to be a box that offered real estate guides,” she laughs. The bright colors and reusable materials found in these boxes are very much in keeping with the theme and spirit of Pratt’s art style. “I love mixed media and abstract art,” she said. “I create art with whatever comes to hand.”

Passionate about art since high school, Pratt has exhibited her art in galleries from Arizona to Ft. Lauderdale. She specializes in everything from photography to murals to sculpture. And his latest work, the Little Free Art Boxes, can be considered a masterpiece by artists in this field. “When you become an artist, the high cost of art materials is a given,” she said. “I created this box to share. I wanted to help other artists.

To support the Little Free Art Box effort, Pratt and the Hernando County Arts Council are asking for donations of paints, crayons, sculpting clay, 8X10 or smaller canvas boards, craft supplies , sketchbooks, art books (how-to books, art books, textbooks), etc. Supplies are for all ages and must be in good working order. Box size is limited. Please visit the West Hernando Library or the Silver Dolphin Restaurant to drop off your donations in the box.

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